Downtown Phoenix Photoshoot

Over the last couple of months, I have gotten so comfortable taking portraits. I am officially getting asked by strangers to take their pictures, and words can not describe how happy it makes me knowing that others love my work! My best friend had asked me to go with her to her senior pictures because her photographer needed an assistant, and of course, I accepted the invitation. Well… a couple of hours before we were supposed to leave she received a text that her photographer had to cancel due to being sick… so I offered to take her pictures for her. And you guys… I am obsessed with how these pictures came out. They are stunning. We went to Downtown Phoenix and strolled around until we found spots that looked like they would provide for a cute backdrop. The end result? Over 1000 pictures that are flawless.

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I am so in love with this backdrop. Simply a street lined with cars in between apartment complexes. Also, how adorable is this outfit?!


Day 58: Paisley

Our senior year is flying by. Honestly, it is terrifying. The thought of taking the NCLEX actually makes me want to vomit. (-: There is so much pressure surrounding nursing students to pass the NCLEX… if you don’t pass the first time you only have a 30% chance of passing on the second time just because of the added anxiety and pressure. I have found that doing photography has helped keep me well rounded though as far as my anxiety, in that I can forget about everything else. All that matters during these photoshoots is my model and taking pictures that capture their beauty and this special milestone in their lives. I had so much fun with this session.

Paisley – my roommate – is currently at the Mayo Clinic doing a residency in the ICU. She has already been recognized by her floor manager and the nurse that she has been working with. She is absolutely killin’ it in her residency. She is someone who jumps at any opportunity she can get when it comes to being in the hospital. Surprisingly there are some students who would rather sit in a chair and do nothing rather than get up and learn new things. I don’t think any of my friends are like that in my class – we are all super eager to learn and be in the hospital. I personally have enjoyed my clinicals the past two weeks. I only have 7 more clinicals until I graduate – holy WHAT THE HECK. Seriously where has time gone?!

Ellen Day 18/365

I had the opportunity to photograph one of my close friends. We graduate this April from nursing school, so obviously capturing this moment of her life is important and special. I am getting more and more comfortable with Lightroom, and I feel like my edits are getting a whole lot better!


If you would like your senior pictures taken, please contact me!

Day 13/365 Kaelyn

This session was so much fun. Not going to lie, I was a little nervous. This was my first time going to a location I had never been to, so I had no idea what to expect. The weather wasn’t the best, it was overcast and so I was freaking out that my lighting would be horrible.

Kaelyn and I go to the same college, so we’ve known each other for maybe 2 years just from seeing each other at parties and what not. We spent a solid hour shooting, and it was really fun making these random spots at North Mountain into my backdrop for my pictures. After 2 hours of editing a ton of pictures, the end result is incredible.

I have been getting a lot more practice with Adobe Lightroom, and I finally made a preset as well. I feel super comfortable with all the different editing tools, but I know I still have a ways to go.


day 5/365 – Jordan

I have been doing a lot of research lately on how to get the best photos out of my camera. I have just recently, over the last day or so, started to mess around with the manual setting. Learning how to adjust the shutter speed depending on how much light there is was confusing at first, but I think I am starting to get the hang of it. I also have watched quite a few videos on Youtube about tips and tricks while taking pictures. Right at about 5 pm, I figured it was time to go outside and try out what I had learned.

These were the pictures that resulted. Jordan is my little brother. Yes he has red hair, no he is not adopted. Yes the jacket is from the 1990s.  And these are all unedited.



Here are the edited pictures (The quality is a little low – I think because I downloaded these from my facebook.. i dont have them saved on my computer yet..)


This was my first time really directing someone too. I like the naturality of these pictures. I told him to just try different poses, and to just be relaxed, and it emanated perfectly in these pictures.

Why I stopped stepping on the scale

*Old me* “Its Friday. Time to step on the scale. I really hope I lost weight.” I would proceed to step on the scale every week, only to see the number up one week and down another. The scale can become addicting.

This addiction to the scale is why I stopped. For a while, I was weighing myself every couple of days, but what I didn’t understand was that weight loss didn’t occur that quickly.

Now, I weight myself once every couple of months. I no longer obsess over numbers, and I don’t focus on the number either. When you focus on the number on the scale, you stress yourself out and your mind holds onto that number, which halts your weight loss. In my opinion, when you are more focused on getting healthy and building a better YOU, your body is better able to let go of the fat.

I also love taking measurements, because they can truly prove if youre shrinking or not! In one month, I was able to lose 10.2 inches from all over my body. It was so encouraging and amazing to see that number. To me, the inches are far more rewarding than my weight.

Winter Break Road Trip

Salt Lake City, Utah.

A place I have never been to, so when Scott and his family invited me to go, I wasn’t going to deny the offer. Plus, adventuring with Scott is an automatic YES I WILL GO.

The travel up there was about a 10 hour car ride. It was a beautiful drive though, especially once we entered Utah. SLC was freezing, especially for me. Born and raised in California, and having been a resident of Arizona for the last 10 years (I can’t believe it’s been that long already), I am used to sunny and 90 degrees. I couldn’t leave the house without having at least 5 layers on, plus a scarf and gloves. Our first day there, Scott and I took the Utah Trax system down to Temple Square, which was gorgeous. We went to the Tabernacle – which had the biggest organ ever! Then we went to the visitor centers and learned about all the history behind the building of the temple.  40 YEARS – that’s how long it took to build the temple in SLC. We also went to the Conference Center, and had the pleasure of having an amazing tour guide – Rodger. He was a cute old man who’s wife also worked there, and his laugh was by far the most contagious laugh I have ever heard. At the end of our tour, he said, “God bless you two, I love you guys, and safe travels home”. He was so sweet, so if you go to the Conference Center, ask for Rodger! (And tell him Scott and Briana from Arizona say hi 🙂 ).



After our touring around we met up with some of his Utah buds and got lunch at the mall located a couple blocks down from Temple Square. It was so great catching up with them – we haven’t seen them since the summer, so the boys had a lot of catching up to do. Scott and I had Kneaders for lunch – seriously, blows Panera Bread and Paradise Bakery out of the water. It’s SO. GOOD. The turkey bacon avocado salad is life. And their ranch is out of this world. New Year’s Eve was spent in a warm cozy bed cuddled up next to Scott after a couple hours at the Utah Jazz basketball game (where I got dessert). And no, we didn’t even manage to stay up – we were asleep by 11:30 (L O L).


Day 2 consisted of visiting Scott’s sister’s (Ashley) wedding venue in Ogden (I think). It was beautiful! Freezing cold – but very pretty. It’s a ski resort and is literally in the mountains. I took some awesome photos up there. Dinner that night was at this Brazilian place where they come to your table with different types of meats as well as unlimited access to a delicious salad bar. I had every type of meat you could possibly think of as well as some truly interesting things. A date wrapped in bacon – delicious. A chicken heart – the most disgusting thing I have ever tried in my entire life.

listen to me – if there is anything you take away from this blog post…. it’s never. ever. eat a chicken heart.

The texture was so tough and thick. I almost threw up while eating it, and I wanted so badly to spit it out into a napkin, but I didn’t want to make myself look like a disgusting pig in front of his parents (his dad would of made fun of me for the rest of forever, and I am pretty sure that because of how nauseas I was afterwards he is still going to make fun of me regardless). It was a fun day to say the least.

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The trip home was rough. It was snowing and storming on our way out… and for a period of time we were only going about 35 miles an hour. It took us 12 hours to get home, but thank God I took some motion sickness medication and clonked out. TIP: do not try and attempt to watch a movie on your iPhone while you are driving on a swervy road.

All in all – great trip. It feels good to be out of the snow. I didn’t appreciate our winters here in Arizona until now. Not having to put on 5 layers of clothing just to go outside is such a blessing. Scott & I can officially cross off every city in the U.S. where it blizzards off the list of places we want to live.

Studying Tips for Nursing Students

I think I’ve finally learned how to study for my exams in nursing school (it’s taken 3 semesters, but its totally fine *insert dreadful cry*). Last week I had my last final exam for level 3, and I managed to get a 95% on it. I flew through the exam, and I wasn’t second guessing my answers because I actually knew the information. It was the best feeling ever! Here’s what I did:

  • Began studying about 2 weeks before the exam. Cramming for exams may work for some, but for the majority it’s not beneficial at all, especially for nursing students because you wan’t to leave your class at the end of the semester actually knowing what the heck you even talked about in that class. 
  • Used quizlet. If you like flashcards but don’t want to spend the time making flashcards, quizlet is your friend! I had over 100 quizlet flashcards for this final exam. I would start with the term, and then on a separate piece of paper I would write out the definition/answer. This was super helpful, as it helped me to instill the answers in my brain. 
  • Studied in groups! I find that when you talk with someone about the material that you tend to retain it a lot better. I found myself actually running a study group the day before the exam, which has never happened, but because I was so confident in the material I felt comfortable enough to question people on it and help them out to learn the info. 
  • Used my professors powerpoint and then went back into the book and read every topic that she had in her powerpoint. I have never done this before. I hate reading! But I found it extremely beneficial to go back into the book and read the topics that my professor had discussed in lecture, as it further explained a lot of the topics we discussed. 
  • Dirty Chai. These were my lifesavers during long days of studying. The shot of espresso really helped to keep me awake, and I liked that I didn’t get the jittery feeling that coffee gives me. 
  • listened to my brain when it was tired. Studying when you are tired is the most un-beneficial thing you can do for yourself. Your brain won’t retain a single thing if you are tired. I went to bed super early some nights, but it was worth it because I was able to wake up early the next morning and get right to studying.
  • never just keep studying, take breaks! The day before my exam I took a three hour break. I just laid in bed, watched The Office, and went to dinner with Scott. Not thinking about the material gives your brain some downtime. It is possible to overstudy, so taking study breaks is really useful! 
  • when i was studying and started to get things wrong and started getting frustrated, I stopped, went to my room, watched Netflix for an hour and a half, and then went back to the library to study some more. Your brain WILL reach a point of just, “I GIVE UP and I need a break”, so listen to it! 

I hope these tips help you ❤ If you have any questions, comment down below and I’ll get back to you!

Problems in Nursing & How to Address Them

During my time in clinical, there are definitely some challenges in the nursing community that I have noticed. These challenges are lack of nurses, the lack of compassion towards patients, and the attitude that some nurses have towards student nurses.

During my time at one facility, nurses were constantly being asked if they wanted to pick up extra shifts. They seemed to be very short staffed, which was also evident in the fact that most nurses had up to 6 patients to care for during their shift. Due to this high patient to nurse ratio, there are many negative effects. As stated by The Truth About Nursing, “When nurses are forced to work with high nurse-to-patient ratios, patients die, get infections, get injured, or get sent home too soon without adequate education about how to take care of their illness or injury” (2016). This leads into my next point, in that nurses are losing their compassion towards patients. I had one patient who was in excruciating pain, but my nurse and the case manager labeled her as ‘just wanting drugs’, even though this patient had hardly any history of being in the hospital. The patient was hysterical, and it was making me upset in that no one was wanting to care for her. When my nurse was looking in the patient’s files to see if the surgeon was ready to discharge her, the surgeon said that he had met with the patient and that she was ready to go home. The patient denied ever meeting with the surgeon, but yet my nurse refused to call the surgeon and clarify as she did not want to disturb him. This upset me a lot, because she failed to advocate for her patient.


During my clinical, I have also had some nurses clearly be angry at the fact that they had a student for the day. One morning, I approached the nurse I was supposed to be shadowing and when I told her I was her student for the day she said, “Ugh no. I’m way too busy for that”. It was upsetting, but I just found my clinical instructor and told her the predicament. I have also had nurses who expected me to do things, even though they were failing to do the tasks themselves. It has been clear to me that nurses in today’s society do not want to work with nursing students, and their attitudes are very clear of that. According to Mueller, Naragon, & Smith state that, “staff nurses have the ability to make a significant impact on nursing students’ learning experience” (2016). This is why it is crucial for nurses to be open to having students. When I am a nurse, my experiences will remind me to be open to students.

These challenges are affecting health care constantly, and eventually these will cause major problems for facilities as people will not want to attend certain hospitals due to their reputation of their nursing staff. It is important to remember that not all nurses are the same, and not all facilities are the same. Each facility focuses on specific guidelines that they have in place for their staff. I will have to adapt to challenges in a timely manner, because health care is constantly changing. It is important to take constructive criticism as it comes, and to learn from my mistakes as well as the faults of others.

There are a few ways that these problems can be addressed. First, dealing with the lack of nurses, I believe that the only way that facilities can work with this issue is by advertising positions at their facilities and being open to accepting new graduates.

As I furthered my research regarding this topic, I found that the enrollment in nursing programs has been declining for five years. Also, there are issues in our institutions because there isn’t enough faculty to teach those who are interested in the field of nursing. I feel as though this is prevalent issue at Grand Canyon University due to the fact that so many students apply to the program, yet many students are turned down due to the fact that there isn’t enough spots for them in the program (which is correlated with the few nursing professors available). Many colleges are now doing something where they are donating money to nursing programs at school to allow for more spots to be opened (Nevidjon, Erickson, 2001).

When dealing with the lack of compassion towards patients, the best way that facilities can deal with this issue is by running programs in their facility to promote positive patient outcomes. Things such as patient ratings on nurses and the facility is a great way for nurse leaders at the facility to see if their nurses are doing a good job. Another way that facilities can deal with this program is by not overworking their nurses. Nurse burnout is a big cause of why nurses stop enjoying their profession. This overworking relates to the fact that there is a nursing shortage, so many hospitals are short staffed.  As stated by Cornwell & Goodrich, “It is the presence or absence of compassion that often marks the lasting and vivid memories patients and family members retain about the overall experience of care in hospital and other settings” (2009). As student nurses, we must remember that there is an art behind nursing that must not be forgotten.

During my clinical experience, I had some nurses who clearly did not want to work with me because I am a student. I believe that the best way for facilities to deal with this is to communicate with their staff about the responsibility those nurses play in teaching and educating us on real life situations. I think that facilities should communicate with their staff if they will be receiving a student that day, as it seems like many nurses are unaware many times of their duty to proctor a student during their shift.




Nevidjon, B., Erickson, J. (2001). The nursing shortage: solutions for the short and long term. Retrieved from

Cornwell, J., Goodrich, J. (2009) Exploring how to enable compassionate care in hospital to improve patient experience. Retrieved from

The Truth About Nursing. (2016). What happens to patients when nurses are short-staffed or work with a high nurse-to-patient ratio? Retrieved from

Mueller, S. A., Naragon, R. M., & Smith, R. R. (2016). The Relationship Between Nursing Students’ Perceptions of Staff Nurses’ Attitudes Towards Them and Self-Efficacy in Sophomore-and Senior-Level Nursing Students.

Why waking up early is beneficial

It’s 7:56 am, and I’ve already completed two online assignments that are due Wednesday and Friday and got in touch with my professor to meet with her today. I’ve only been up since about 6:30. I did not set an alarm to wake me up that early, but my body decided it was awake and ready for the day. I have noticed that when my body decides it wants to wake up that I can’t normally fall back asleep anyways. If I decide to try and rebel against my natural body clock, I end up laying in my bed, with my eyes shut, but not mentally asleep.

〉 Increase in productivity

I don’t know why, but for some reason I am always so much more productive in the morning! I feel like I want to accomplish everything all at once! And no, I haven’t had a coffee. (I’ve actually decided to stop drinking coffee, but I will write about that some other time). Try getting up around 6:30, make a list of everything you have to do for the week, and pick out the stuff you can get out of the way! I just got two assignments done that I would of had to worry about later this week… and since I have my first exam this week as well as no school on Friday, I really did not want to waste my time doing stupid online assignments when I could be studying and relaxing. 

〉 Better test scores

According to a study done by Texas University, students who woke up early, consistently, actually had higher test scores and overall grade points compared to those who slept in and slept a LOT. 

〉 Healthier YOU

If you sleep in, you’re probably sleeping through breakfast, meaning that you are screwing with your metabolism. If you eat a late lunch, that most likely means you’re going to have a late dinner. Eating 3-4 hours before you go to bed isn’t the best if you’re trying to lost weight… all that food just ends up sitting in your stomach since you’re body isn’t using it for energy as it does when you eat breakfast and your brain uses that food as it’s energy source. 

〉 Time to workout!

I love getting my workouts done in the morning! It seriously makes me feel so much better throughout the day! Your body releases natural endorphins when you workout, and those endorphins help to make you to feel not only happy, but relaxed. As a college student, workout out helps me to keep my stress levels low, so when I start out my morning with a workout, I notice myself being less stressed throughout the rest of my day. 



Sanders, H. (2015). Top 7 benefits of waking up early. Retrieved from